Alan Lomax and Ethnomusicology

Alan Lomax is a pioneer in the field of ethnomusicology. Rounder Records is in the process of releasing some of his early field recordings.

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The Alan Lomax Collection

The Alan Lomax Collection is a new series from Rounder Records that captures the essence of Lomax's field work. Each disc in the series focusses on a specific topic. Topics include prison songs, Christmas songs, Italian folk, and the Caribbean.

Preparing the series was no small feat. Each CD comes with liner notes that are meticulously detailed with information about instruments, culture, and the time period in which the recordings took place, as well as maps, illustrations, and lyrics.

As far as the music goes, Rounder had to go back into the Lomax archives to albums long out of print, as well as uncovering new material, and remaster the recordings in 20-bit digital. Even still, the recordings are not perfect in sound (and how could they be, recorded so long ago with equipment inferior to today's standards), but are authentic and a window into the world of one of the pioneers of ethnomusicology.

Some other excellent sources for further information about Alan Lomax include a biography from the Blue Flame Cafe and and another biography that talks about both Alan and his father John, from a site called Song Hunters.

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